Why I Use Mailbox App for Work

I’ve changed mail clients quite a few times in my life. From using Outlook when i was still on Windows to Mail on Mac and have trialled AirMail 2, Outlook for Mac, Inky, Postbox, and Unibox. After comparing pros and cons again while changing to my Automattic mail, I’ve reviewed all of them again and settled for Mailbox – an app by the Dropbox team.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 14.30.06

Cons

Let’s start with the downsides. And there are still a few.

  • Buggy. The app is still very young and it can get quite buggy at some times with files not syncing or the UI suddenly not working.
  • No ability to save attachments. At the moment attachments cannot be saved, they are automatically stored in the temp downloads folder (which cannot be changed either). I find this the biggest inconvenience so far. Vote for my suggestion here if you’d like to see this happen.
  • Limited editing. There are very limited options to edit the text using shortcuts, but that’s it. Ordered and unordered lists would be a great addition. Markdown capacity would make this app an absolute winner.

That sounds quite bad, so why do I still go for this app?

Pros

Because it has a very nice list of pros.

Inbox Zero and Snooze

Inbox Zero Image

I used to be a big fan of working with folders. I like structure and folders provided that for me. However, working for a company that encourages to decrease the use of email, and finding myself more and more use the search option in mail clients to find emails, made me decide I don’t need this anymore. There are two things that are important when I handle emails: I aim for “Inbox Zero”. And I want a system to be reminded of things that are ahead.

Mailbox handles both of those purposes wonderfully. The app is built around the emptying your inbox. You even get a new image per day when you do this.

At the same time it is great to have a snooze button. Mailbox allows you to very fast snooze the email with the several options (including later that day, tomorrow, next week and picking a date). This makes it very fast to go through the inbox, decide what is urgent and clear everything that is not.

Snooze Options
Snooze Options

I find myself having a lot less emails to daunt me then with other apps.

Shortcuts

There are a lot of built-in (and logical) shortcuts for action. Here’s an overview of the ones I like (I rarely use my mouse for Mailbox):

  • Enter: archive email
  • Backspace: delete email
  • Cmd + D: snooze email (the arrow keys allow to select a snooze option after that)
  • Cmd + L: move to list
  • Cmd + R: reply
  • Cmd + Shift + R: reply to all
  • Cmd + enter: send email

Balance

Even though Mailbox is still in beta and definitely could use some improvement, the focus of the app and the fast workflow that it enables have made me a fan. I’m quite sure I might change clients again at some point but for now I’m settling in with this app.